Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $96.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Novartis has a strong oncology portfolio of drugs like Afinitor, Exjade, Jakavi, Zykadia, Tasigna, Jadenu, an improved formulation of Exjade and the recently approved Kisqali. The recent approval of Kymriah for acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a major boost for Novartis given the potential in the CAR T therapy space.Growth drivers like Cosentyx and Entresto, more than offset the impact of generic erosion, mainly due to Glivec. Cosentyx hit blockbuster status in 2016. Earlier, Novartis announced that it is mulling strategic options for Alcon which includes retaining the business, or a separation via capital market transactions such as a spin-off or an initial public offering. The company will elaborate on its plans for Alcon by end of the year. We are also impressed by the progress in the biosimilars portfolio as the company is on track to launch five more biosimilars by 2020. Shares of the company have outperformed the industry so far in 2017.”

NVS has been the subject of several other reports. BidaskClub upgraded Novartis AG from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Saturday, August 19th. J P Morgan Chase & Co restated a neutral rating on shares of Novartis AG in a report on Thursday, June 8th. Morgan Stanley upgraded Novartis AG from an underweight rating to an overweight rating in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. Cowen and Company set a $77.00 price target on Novartis AG and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded Novartis AG from a c+ rating to a b rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. Novartis AG currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $85.12.

Shares of Novartis AG (NVS) opened at 84.94 on Tuesday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $84.30 and its 200-day moving average price is $80.50. Novartis AG has a 12 month low of $66.93 and a 12 month high of $86.90. The firm has a market capitalization of $199.01 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.01 and a beta of 0.74.

Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 18th. The company reported $1.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.16 by $0.06. Novartis AG had a return on equity of 15.51% and a net margin of 13.52%. The company had revenue of $12.24 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $12.20 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.23 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Novartis AG will post $4.75 earnings per share for the current year.

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In related news, major shareholder Bioventures Ltd Novartis purchased 266,667 shares of Novartis AG stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 5th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $15.00 per share, with a total value of $4,000,005.00. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.01% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. boosted its position in Novartis AG by 5.6% during the first quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. now owns 5,405 shares of the company’s stock valued at $401,000 after purchasing an additional 285 shares during the last quarter. AT Bancorp boosted its position in Novartis AG by 4.2% during the first quarter. AT Bancorp now owns 11,690 shares of the company’s stock valued at $868,000 after purchasing an additional 470 shares during the last quarter. GFS Advisors LLC boosted its position in Novartis AG by 6.5% during the second quarter. GFS Advisors LLC now owns 21,314 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,779,000 after purchasing an additional 1,300 shares during the last quarter. Mechanics Bank Trust Department acquired a new position in Novartis AG during the second quarter valued at approximately $389,000. Finally, ProVise Management Group LLC boosted its position in Novartis AG by 12.2% during the second quarter. ProVise Management Group LLC now owns 85,041 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,099,000 after purchasing an additional 9,227 shares during the last quarter. 10.93% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Novartis AG Company Profile

Novartis AG is a holding company, which provides healthcare solutions. The Company is engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of a range of healthcare products led by pharmaceuticals. The Company’s segments include Innovative Medicines, Sandoz, Alcon and Corporate activities.

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Analyst Recommendations for Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS)

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